Some 250 elaborate Mishloach Manos packages were distributed this week throughout Israel to Jews rescued this year by Yad L’Achim from Christian missionary cults and Arab villages.
Due to limitations imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, Yad L’Achim was unable to hold its traditional Purim seudah for those Jews it cares for year-round. Instead, it was decided that activists would come to each survivor’s home to personally deliver Mishloach Manos and to discuss the significance of the holiday.
These food packages were delivered to 250 families, most of whom had opened a new chapter in their lives and were returning to the Jewish people with the help of Yad L’Achim. In many cases, the encounter went on for an hour or more, giving activists an opportunity to speak at length about the holiday and the victory of the Jews over those who have sought to destroy them in every generation.
The survivors’ emotional responses proved that Yad L’Achim had succeeded in turning lemons into lemonade, as one family after another spoke of how the one-on-one experience in their own homes exposed them to a deeper, more special dimension of Purim. The home visits brought them a new level of joy, made them understand how important they are to Yad L’Achim, how deeply connected.
“They spoke of how much it meant to them that we went to all the effort to come to their homes,” said one activist. “Some cried from emotion and thanked us for thinking of them even in this difficult period and for going to such lengths to add simcha to their holiday. They couldn’t thank us enough.
“We kept hearing statements like ‘Thank you, my Yad L’Achim family,’ and ‘You are my family,’ and ‘What you’ve done once again attests to your dedication and commitment to us.’ ”
It should be stressed that even though Pesach is a month away, Yad L’Achim is already investing enormous efforts in organizing and distributing holiday packages with Shmura matza, wine and other Pesach necessities – in addition to food vouchers worth collectively hundreds of thousands of shekels – for Jews who only a year ago were in Christian cults or trapped in marriages to Arabs, with the aim of easing their way into their new lives as Jews.